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Mov Disord. 2018 Aug;33(8):1331-1339. doi: 10.1002/mds.27391. Epub 2018 Mar 24.

6-n-propylthiouracil taste disruption and TAS2R38 nontasting form in Parkinson's disease.

Author information

1
Neurology Service and Stroke Unit, A.O. Brotzu, Cagliari, Italy.
2
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Cagliari, Monserrato, Cagliari, Italy.
3
University of Cagliari, Department of Medical Sciences and Public Health Cagliari, University of Cagliari, Monserrato, Cagliari, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The few studies that evaluated taste function in Parkinson's disease (PD) showed inconsistent results. The inherited ability to taste the bitter compound of 6-n-propylthiouracil has been considered to be a paradigm of general taste perception. 6-n-propylthiouracil taste perception is mediated by the TAS2R38 receptor, and reduced 6-n-propylthiouracil sensitivity has been associated with several diseases not typically related to taste function.

OBJECTIVES:

We evaluated the 6-n-propylthiouracil taste perception and the TAS2R38 gene as genetic risk factors for the development of idiopathic PD in PD patients and healthy controls (HC).

METHODS:

The 6-n-propylthiouracil taste perception was assessed by testing the responsiveness, and the ability to recognize, 6-n-propylthiouracil and sodium chloride. The participants were classified for 6-n-propylthiouracil taster status and genotyped for the TAS2R38 gene.

RESULTS:

A significant increase in the frequency of participants classified as 6-n-propylthiouracil nontasters and a reduced ability to recognize bitter taste quality of 6-n-propylthiouracil were found in PD patients when compared with healthy controls. The results also showed that only 5% of PD patients had the homozygous genotype for the dominant tasting variant of TAS2R38, whereas most of them carried the recessive nontaster form and a high number had a rare variant.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results show that 6-n-propylthiouracil taster status and TAS2R38 locus are associated with PD. The 6-n-propylthiouracil test may therefore represent a novel, simple way to identify increased vulnerability to PD. Moreover, the presence of the nontasting form of TAS2R38 in PD may further substantiate that disease-associated taste disruption may represent a risk factor associated with the disease. © 2018 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

KEYWORDS:

PROP taster status; TAS2R38 bitter receptor; human; nonmotor symptoms

PMID:
29575306
DOI:
10.1002/mds.27391

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